Let us begin with a few caveats before we get down to the crux of the debate. Cold shower in temperate winters is a nonstarter. We are not even trying to venture farther northward when winters can be six months long. Hot shower is a nonstarter in the tropics. You may consider a warm shower during tropical winters or in the wet season and yet that is only if there is enough rain in the region where you live. It is not difficult to avoid binaries such as whether it is more beneficial to take cold or warm shower.
Both cold and warm showers have their fair share of advantages. Neither can be demonizes unless one is considering a particular context. A warm shower is an imperative requisite in the colder parts of the world. A cold shower is quintessential closer to the equator. Now let us explore the benefits of both before we delve into the demerits.
Benefits of Warm Shower
A hot or warm shower can be soothing and can relieve physiological tension. A warm shower can also relieve psychological stress and anxiety. Anyone with stiff muscles and aches or pains in various parts of their body will feel much better during and after a hot shower.
A warm shower can increase the level of oxytocin in your body. This is one of the reasons why you can feel relieved of anxiety during and after a warm shower. Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone. It has a pleasurable effect on the body and you can definitely treat yourself with some love with a hot shower.
A warm shower can decongest your respiratory tracts, thereby reducing the severity of cold and remedying the symptoms in due course of time. Warm showers are really helpful for those who have nasal blockages or are perpetually vulnerable to common cold.
Benefits of Cold Shower
A cold shower can calm down the body as it reduces the surface temperature dramatically. Cold shower also increases blood circulation. This is regardless of where you live and the type of climate you experience. If you are treating yourself to cold water that is cooler than your body temperature, then your body will try to neutralize the difference by allowing more blood flow to various parts. This is good for circulation.
Cold showers can jolt people awake from their slumber. The cold water can instill alertness and do away with fatigue. Cooler showers can combat depression. The cooler water is also better for skin and hair. Warm water tends to have a drying effect on the skin and hair. Those with extremely dry or very oily skin and hair will have to spend more time on personal care and grooming if they take warm showers regularly, regardless of season.
Strike a Balance of Cold and Warm Showers
First, you have to avoid extremely hot or cold showers. You should not jump into an ice cold tub of water. You should avoid water that is heated to an extent that can subtly burn your skin. No matter where you live, moderation is the key. You should go for lukewarm water if you prefer warm or hot showers. You should go for slightly cool water if you prefer cold showers. You do not need to shock your body every time you take a bath.
Second, you must respond to your immediate environment and you should listen to your body. If you have dandruff, dry skin and other dermal problems then a cold shower is better. You may go for slightly lukewarm water if it is freezing outside but you should not turn on the showerhead that jettisons steaming water. You can use warm shower for your entire body down from the neck. You can treat your face with the warm water but go for cooler water for your head and hair. Dandruff is worsened when you shower with warm water.
Third, you should always choose what works for you. There are many people who suffer from respiratory problems, arthritis and other conditions that make cold showers a nonstarter. Likewise, those with high blood pressure and gastrointestinal problems may find warm showers unsettling, if not immediately then after a while when their body responds to the heat.